Ep.97: Speech Level Singing vs Mix Singing


What’s the difference between Speech Level Singing vs Mix Singing? Often there’s confusion between these two things. Inside this video I’ll explain why it’s important for you to know the difference.


Speech Level Singing and Mix Singing are different.


Speech Level Singing vs Mix Singing

Here’s the definition of Speech Level Singing


Speech Level Singing (SLS) is a singing technique created by Seth Riggs. It’s a system of teaching singing that uses vocal exercises to cause the singer to bridge.


SLS exercises train you to sing from chest to head voice without reaching, breaking, or breathiness. The exercises cause you to develop a new singing coordination where your vocal cords balance with the air from the lungs.


The results is a balanced voice where the vocal cords function independently from any extrinsic pressure from the outer neck muscles. This creates a powerful and connected tone quality from the lowest to the highest notes in the voice. This is especially powerful in the middle area of the voice, also called the bridge or passaggio.


You get a smooth and easy transition through the bridge which increases your range and power without reach or tension.


All of this is done with the larynx staying at speech level, or at the level where you speak, or should speak. The vocal cords remain connected throughout your range.


This is what the Speech Level Singing technique causes in the voice.


When your bridges are “intact”, your vocal cords remain connected, meaning they don’t disconnect into falsetto, no matter how high you sing.  


While singing in the first bridge of the voice, you get a blend of chest and head resonances. This is a mix of chest and head voice. This mix of resonances occurs as a result of the vocal cords remaining connected.


If the vocal cords disconnect into falsetto, you lose the chest resonance and there is no mix.


Speech Level Singing vs Mix Singing – Definition of Mix

Here’s my definition of Mix Singing.


Speech Level Singing vs Mix Singing Areas of Mix SingingSpeech Level Singing vs Mix Singing Areas of Mix Singing

Mix singing is the mixture or blend of resonances. In the first bridge, it’s a blend of Chest and Head resonances. In the upper bridges it’s primarily a blend of the adjacent vocal registers. The vocal cords remain connected. If the cords disconnect into falsetto, you lose the lower resonances and there is no mix.


Speech Level Singing vs Mix Singing and Quality of Mix

Therefore, the SLS technique causes Mix Singing. SLS also causes a particular quality of mix. It is a mix of chest and head resonance without tension or reach. It is a mix of resonances with a resting larynx which is at a speech level. It is a mix that allows uncluttered singing without vocal manipulation. Words are easily understood which gives tremendous power to the singer to connect with the audience.


It’s a mix with a full spectrum of vocal overtones because there’s no added tension, manipulation of the tongue, soft palate, or larynx. It’s a balanced voice which results in optimal power, pitch and vibrato.


This is the ideal mix for which the Speech Level Singing technique is striving.


Different Techniques create Different Qualities of Mix

Different techniques create different qualities of mix.


I’m not qualified to speak with authority about other techniques. I’m quick to say that not every SLS teacher or singer attains the ideal mix overnight.


However, it’s my opinion that there are techniques that say they teach students to mix but neglect to balance the voice.


An imbalanced voice may result in a mix with a brassy sound, splatty vowels, distorted words, labored vibrato and a greatly reduced spectrum of vocal overtones.


An imbalanced voice may cause a high larynx, excessive tension and reaching, and over or under compressed vocal cords.


You may get a wobble instead of vibrato. Your voice may tire quickly. Your tone quality may suffer. Your vocal bridges may fall apart. If those things happen, you get a break in your voice and lose your mix and your upper ranges.


Granted, this may be exactly what the singer wants to sound like and what his/her audience pays to hear.


But it’s not the mix you’ll learn from Speech Level Singing. It may not be mix at all.  It might be pulled chest-high larynx singing.


Mix Singing is Not Speech Level Singing

This is why it’s important to know that Mix Singing is not Speech Level Singing.


Different techniques deliver different qualities of mix.

There are other kinds and qualities of Mix Singing which you will not get from the Speech Level Singing Technique.


It’s a uniquely powerful mix which not only improves but preserves your voice, no matter how many years you sing.  


The exercises in PowerToSing.com are designed to eliminate vocal problems, balance your voice and establish the vocal bridges. This leads to an ideal mix voice.


Visit PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and discover your vocal type. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing.


Visit the Knowledge Center and watch the videos about your vocal type. Then download the free exercises and practice them to start improving your voice immediately.


I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.


I’ll see you inside the next video.


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